Central Europe CFO Survey Spring 2020


Key findings

Central Europe CFO Survey 2020, Spring edition

  • As in last year’s survey, the majority of CFOs expect growth in Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation – both in their countries, as well as in the Eurozone.
  • As in 2019, the majority of CFOs do not think the year ahead will be a good time for companies to take on more risk; this was the view of between 96% (Romania) and 57% (Lithuania) of respondents. CFOs from the Eurozone and Romania, Poland and the Czech Republic are equally risk-averse.
  • CFOs’ expectations for future levels of external financial uncertainty differ from country to country, but there is a negative net balance (the difference between the shares of respondents expecting low and high levels of uncertainty) in all the countries which participated in this edition of the survey. 
  • CFOs’ views on the likely levels of external financial uncertainty in 2020 differ from industry to industry. All the sectors show a negative net balance, with Consumer Business recording the most pessimistic opinions of all (-76%).
  • CFOs perceive reduction in domestic demand as the most significant threat to business over the next year with 61% of respondents confirming this is their main worry. Another of the CFOs’ greatest concerns is a reduction in the foreign demand (45%).
  • A cross-industry comparison shows a lot of similarities between how CFOs perceive the main challenges they will face over the year to come: concerns about reduction in domestic demand and economic outlook come first.
  • CFOs see internal financing and bank borrowing as the most attractive sources of funding for their companies. These options were selected respectively by 51% and 42% of respondents.
  • Cost reduction is set to be a priority for businesses in 2020, with almost half of CFOs putting it at the top of the agenda. Cost reduction is particularly important for CFOs from the Construction, Energy, Utilities, Mining and Manufacturing sectors.
  • Hiring new talent (or development of human capital), increase in capital expenditure (CAPEX), expansion by acquisition, introduction of new products/services and expansion into new markets are the least important considerations for 2020, with only 1% to 6% of respondents regarding them as key priorities.